Protests over George Floyd’s death have gone international, with hundreds of people taking to the streets of London and Berlin to decry the rampant police brutality in the US.
The chants of “No justice, no peace” rang out in the British capital on Sunday as protesters marched towards the US embassy in London. Some stopped at the Trafalgar Square and knelt, imitating the gesture of NFL star Colin Kaepernick.
“It is really powerful that people come out and not just sit down. It is not just a black issue, it is a human issue,” a protester named Scott told RT’s Ruptly video agency.
The action in London was a lot less violent than in the US, however. The Metropolitan Police made five arrests, with two people detained for assaulting the officers, and three others – for violating the Covid-19 lockdown guidelines.
In the German capital, the crowd of protesters also gathered outside the US embassy. They held signs that read: “Justice for George Floyd,”“Let us breathe” and “Who’s neckst.”
“I promised that my future beautiful black babies will not die because I did not do enough, because I spent more time crying and complaining and posting than I did taking real action,” one of the Berlin speakers said through a megaphone.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old Houston native, died on May 25 during a police arrest in Minneapolis. Disturbing footage filmed by bystanders showed an officer jamming his knee on the black man’s neck while ignoring his pleas as well as those of the witnesses watching.
Ahead of the brutal arrest, Floyd allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store, and police said he resisted being handcuffed when detained. But for the millions of people who saw the video in the news and on social media, this hardly justified the police actions. Thousands took to streets across the US in cities like Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, Portland, Chicago and many others.
But the protests quickly turned into riots – “hijacked” by provocateurs, as some have said – with destroyed property, torched police vehicles and large-scale looting persisting for several nights in a row. With curfews imposed in several cities but troops not deployed, President Donald Trump has so far refrained from invoking federal authority to send in the National Guard. At the same time, he has blamed the “Radical Left” and Antifa in particular for stirring up the riots, promising to designate the latter a terrorist group.
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